Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Words on Wednesday

These aren't merely words.  They are outright procrastination.  Since today is a snowy day (with MYP still at their desks in their learning environment), I thought I'd take the opportunity in my alone-ness to clean the house stem to stern.  Well I got the stem part done.  The stern is still needing to be done.  You know the jobs that you never really like to do?  Yep.  Them.  I decided yesterday to "Fly" again. if you are curious.  Time to have her bossy-self give me guidelines for each day.  I'll do it until I'm tired of the e-mails again.

An article in the paper said that cats are bigger killers than they first realized.  They kill 2.4 million birds and 12.3 billion mammals each year.  It was portrayed as a bad thing.  The final paragraph said in part, 'outside cat owners are being irresponsible and ultimately not very cat friendly'.  That would be us!  Ugh.

I got a blog hit in the past 24 hours from Kenya!  Really!  Hello to you - whoever you are!

After a balmy 60-degree day, it turned back into winter again today.  I'm happy about that and happy the snow is falling.  I was hoping for 12-18" instead of 2-4".  But we'll take what we can get.  I've decided I like winter after all.  Yes, it is confusing to even me.

Yesterday on our way to the school for yet another basketball game, I asked the MYP if I could bring the moderately ugly afghan I'm working on and crochet there while I'm killing time.  There was a loud, unison, "NO!".  Followed by one of our rotten kids saying, 'it's bad enough that you have gray hair.  Crocheting makes it look like our mom should be in the nursing home.'.  Well thank you my love.  And no, I would never crochet at a game.  Just wanted to fire them up a bit!  I'm a nice mom like that. 

Seems that every time I'm typing up a post, the dog is sighing heavily on the rug just outside the office door waiting impatiently for a walk.  I'd like to tell her to go walk herself, but I think she likes my company too much.  And after that... back to the 'stern' part of housecleaning.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

All that's fit to print

Or so I thought it was.  Yes, as I mentioned, I got a hard copy of the first year and a half of the "Chairman and company".  It was almost surreal thumbing through the pages.  I definitely remember writing some posts. I vaguely remember others.  And didn't remember some of them at all.  One of the MYP spent over an hour in the chair reading and snickering and laughing and occasionally asking me 'why did you write that about me and post it????'.  Well when they were younger, it seemed ok at the time.  She also asked why I didn't blog when they were babies.  Well frankly my dear tween, I don't think blogs even existed then and I didn't have enough time to get a shower before 3:30 in the afternoon when the neighbor girl would come over to watch the three babies so I could go get a little hygiene.

I found some of the entries to be bland and boring.  Some almost riveting.  Some embarrassing.  Some tedious and repetitive.  And some hilarious even to me.  Lisi's 'voice' has changed some.  Mine too in fact.  The posts write themselves.  Really.  I honestly can't believe I've kept this gig up.  More than that, I can't believe people find any of the blather interesting.  I often wonder how long I'll blog.  It could be another six months.  Or a year.  Or until I'm 87.  The family changes morphing on the printed page is fascinating in some ways.  In just six short years, much has changed within our walls.

So back to the book.  I used the website blog2print.  It was the easiest and fastest way.  I didn't say cheapest.  My 187-page volume of 2007-8 cost $80something (psst!  don't tell the Chairman!).  I feel I can justify the cost because I spend zilch on anything crafty with the exception of some yarn to crochet once in awhile.  The other sites are Blurb and Lulu I think it was called.  Both of them required you to participate in how things are aligned.  One site wanted you to download their program and go page by page through your blog to decide what goes where.  Nope.  Too labor-intensive for me.  Plus the pressure of being creative kind of puts me over the edge.

How is the book quality?  Good I'd say.  The binding and paper is nice.  There's a neat table of contents.  Picture quality is decent.  But there's some pagination issues.  Sometimes a description of a picture is listed and the photo is on the next page.  Since this book is only for our own family's enjoyment, it really doesn't matter.

So I'll probably order the next years now.  I started with a red cover.  Think I'll throw some creative juices into the line-up and make the next one orange, followed by yellow... might as well have a rainbow sitting on the shelf!

With all that said, here are a few quotes about writing I enjoyed this morning:

"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing" - Benjamin Franklin

"I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done." - Steven Wright

 "Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else" - Gloria Steinem

"Writing is an extreme privilege but it's also a gift. It's a gift to yourself and it's a gift of giving a story to someone."  - Amy Tan

"I love talking about nothing.  It's the only thing I know anything about."  - Oscar Wilde

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Musings

I've had my head deep inside the washer drum, the dryer tub, the dishwasher... you get the idea.  Not a lot of musings that would be amusing.

We live in an area where we have a lot of friends if you know what I mean.  All of these friends like these same people and want them to stay with them too.  When we get the wonderful opportunity - or better described as privilege- to have some special people come and stay with us, well it is very nice.  Very nice.  The house is filled with anticipation beforehand.  And feels empty after.
take note that Sunday clothes don't last long with one of the MYP...
We had a free day and the consensus was to go tour the local pizza plant!  You  can read all the details here!  I found it quite interesting.  Especially when Jacimo (pronounced Jock-i-mo)- the CEO came in to tell us his favorite toppings and chat with us.  The lady tour guide said we were 'honored' to have him pop in like that.  Well of course!  We walked away stuffed and crossed another item off our bucket list.

We are still doing a lot of this.  
Hanging out at the local ski hill.  We have all graduated off the bunny hill and are tearing down "Racers Ruin" with the best of them.  Sorta.  Like rookie-skiers.  I've come to really enjoy it.  If you know me at all, you would know that I'm not the gifted athlete you imagine.  So finding something that I enjoy besides walking the pooch is kinda neat!  Especially when we see the three MYP tearing down the hill before us on their skis/snowboard.

It came!  My very first edition of the 'Chairman and company'.  The first entry was July 4, 2007.  I will order the subsequent years once my ship comes in.  I was balking at the price, but came to the realization that I don't have any hobbies except the aforementioned skiing.  And this is for the family time capsule some day.  So it is worth every penny.

Well Lisi is pacing on the back deck wondering why I'm not outside walking off the big egg salad sandwich I just polished off at lunch.  So I better go do it.  But first!  A picture of a cute kitty sunning himself.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dodging the bullet

Not that kind - you know the kind that people are arguing about in Washington...  this kind of bullet is entertaining, interesting (or so we hope) and possibly informative.  Or not.

* I've just returned from my daily walk.  Five degrees warmer makes a big difference.  I haven't hated winter this year for some reason.  Maybe it is because we are participating more in winter sports.  Or maybe it is for bragging rights that I still walk on dreadfully cold days with this dedicated companion.
Or maybe it is because we have this:
Not the cat, (although he's great entertainment on a cold night).  The wood stove.

* I realized something about myself last night.  I hate cleaning ovens.  I used to think that shower/tubs were the worst.  But since we have a couple dear ladies coming tomorrow, and since they might have a hankering to cook a bit, I don't want them thinking I am just polishing the outside and not truly being clean from within.  If you know what I mean.

* Why do people now have professional pictures taken of their newborns naked?  For some reason I think they are sweet and all, but the poor little babies just look cold to me and I wish I could cover them in something soft.

* My first blog book covering the first two years is coming this week!  It'll be kind of weird to re-read things I've forgotten I had written.  Kind of like picking up an old "Reader's Digest" at the doctor's office.  I hope I'm interesting!

* Tonight we go to high school orientation for daughter #1.  It was just yesterday thirteen years ago next week we got a call that "Ling Zhong" would be coming home.  When people ahead of us in this parenting gig would look at us with our weary, blood-shot eyes and rumpled clothes and say, 'it goes by fast', they weren't kidding!  I thought the changes we experienced the first five years with the MYP were momentous.  But the next five will be just as big... jobs, driving permits, decisions for life.  Eeps.

* You know those sayings you see all over FB and whatnot?  I thought of a couple yesterday when dealing with another squabble.  "Oh please let (insert sibling name) go on the computer before me!  Said no child ever.  Or how about, 'Mom?  I think I've had enough time playing games on-line.'.  Said no child ever.  I think you know what the squabbles were over.

* Blog readers are a fascinating bunch.  The posts I hit "publish" for that I think "nyah that wasn't very interesting" are the ones that get the most comments.  Go figure.

With that in mind.  This post is done.  Aren't you glad you didn't dodge the bullet?  I thought so!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A new voice needs to be heard

Yawn.  Stretch.  I think I'll readjust my position now and soon take another cat nap after I have a word or two with you.  I have been around this place for seven months and that tall lady that feeds me flaked salmon from a can every morning has finally let me have a voice.  I think it was pressure she was getting from some of you readers.  I thank you for helping her come to her senses.

I am Simba.  Here me roar!  Or maybe just meow.  Or maybe purr loudly.  I am an orange tabby cat.  I have no idea where I came from, but I am here now and I hope you just deal with it.

There is a big, stupid, hairy dog here named Lisi.  She has had a problem with me from the beginning.  She tries to get in the way so the tall people around here can't scratch me behind my ears.  She's just jealous because we cats are more clever and can live our own lives without needing attention all the time.  And she's dumb.  Have I said that yet?  When she's lying on that big, soft dog bed, I can go and pretend to play with her.  The confused dog gets up thinking we are going to play and I sneak in and lie down on a pre-warmed bed.  Now you tell me.  Which is smarter?  A cat or a dog?  I think you answered your question.

There are some tall people here.  One hangs around here quite a bit.  She talks to me all the day long.  I put my ears back sometimes trying to get her to be quiet.  Usually it works.  The other tall person isn't around as much.  I can tell there are times he doesn't like me so well.  He's got some kind of preoccupation with those big things in the garage I like to sit on top of.  He pretends to not like me sometimes, but he's the one who stays up late to make sure I'm safe and sound.

Then there are the shorter people here.  They have treated me properly.  Sometimes they drag me into a fort or put some clothes on me.  I tolerate it because they are my people.  And I'm pretty good-natured for being a cat.

I'm very sick of this cold.  I have only lived nine months so I don't know if that warm weather was just a passing thing and it won't ever be nice out again.  I've tried to complain loudly to the tall lady that is here all the time, but she just tells me to be quiet.  And sometimes, she uses her foot to help push me out the door.  I can't stand it when a person tries to tell me what to do.

So I will soon have more stories to tell.  I'm curious as cats generally are and so I'll have material to work with.  I'm smart and aloof and love warm laps and a champion killer all at the same time.  But before I wear myself out, I'm going to take another cat nap.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Musings

As the Chairman was heading out the door to the salt mine again, I told him it is hard to be motivated when there is a hot fire burning in the stove and a sleepy cat and dog nearby.  I'll muse and then I'll get in gear.

My 'big' sister just had a birthday.  It was nice to go have lunch and a wee bit of shopping with her.  I saw a sister birthday card that kind of describes us.  'We are so much alike.  Yet we are so much different...'.  She's always been quieter and smarter than me.  She has crafty talents and can make a sewing machine hum.  She can play the violin and piano with gusto.  She married someone that I have admired and respected for 33 years.  Her children were little blond beauties I loved to pieces and have now become like good friends to me.  She's often gave a tidbit of wisdom that I think on long afterwards. Yes, my 'big' sister.  I'm so fortunate for her.  And I'm glad she's older.  (heh heh)

Daughter #2 took to the ski slope this past weekend.  By the second time down the little bunny hill she was ready to head to the lift.  By the second time down the bigger bunny slope she insisted that she ride in the 'single line' and didn't want mom or dad to be by her at all.  Thankyouverymuch.  Don't follow me!  Don't be by me!   Another mother next to me in line thought it was humorous.  I was exasperated.  And off she went.  Miss Independent.

We had sausage corn chowder for supper the other night.  It was good.  But what was really good were the popovers that I served with it.  I LOVE popovers.  I'm not sure why.  But after eating three humongous ones, I felt I had about outdone myself.  Urp!  Going flour-less and gluten-free are in vogue right now.  And power to you that do it for health or other reasons.  For me, I exercise so I can eat carbs.  Homemade bread, cinnamon rolls, coffee cake, doughnuts, popovers!  Thanks for your understanding.

Do you have a hand mixer you love?  I have my Bosch that I use for bread and big batch stuff. But my small hand mixer sounds like it is gasping for breath when I start it up and I'm ready to throw it out.  I want one with some power and longevity.

We are in a terrific cold spell here.  Hence the wood stove billowing heat.  I loved the end of the cold warning on the forecast...  "make sure you wear a hat and gloves".  Ok!  Glad they made that clear!

Ok.  Time to get to work.  Not much to muse this Monday I guess!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thursday thoughts

A few thoughts.  I am contemplating making some yearly books of the blog to collect dust on a shelf.  My first option looks expensive.  So I'll keep looking unless someone wants to donate a few hundred bucks.  I noticed my first posting was on July 4, 2007.  Just a 'trial' post to see what a blog was.  I thought maybe once a month would be sufficient to blog.  Silly me for not knowing what Monday Musings were!  Or a dog that loves to share in the limelight.  I'll eventually put all of Lisi's stories into a blog, but I'll wait until her final chapter has been written (sniff).  

When she was missing yesterday, I'm ashamed to admit that I was almost looking forward to not having to walk her every day and not have dog hair plaguing me in the house.  Then a few seconds later I woke to my senses and felt very sad and worried.  Until I got mad... 

I'm starting to get a complex.  Facebook shares lots of pictures and information daily.  And I'm coming to realize that more and more of my friends are becoming grandmothers!  Gack!  The babies are incredibly cute though.  

I have been getting solicitations for magazines that are two years for $10.  Even I can afford that.  I like "Real Simple".  Maybe it is because my mostly-nice older brother called me that often. 

I got the official report from my mammogram.  I'm a Birads 3 "very likely benign".  Only 7% of patients are given that diagnosis.  Of those, only 2% are actually cancer.  So that's good, right?  Right.  I keep telling myself that.  The follow-up is scheduled for July.  I'll be fine.  I keep telling myself that.  

I have done some research through Dr. Internet.  Did you know Vitamin D and B12 are two of the best vitamins to fight cancer?  Well now you do.  Speaking of pills.  I'm a huge believer these days of acidophilus.  Go read about it and you'll see why.  

A couple new "hits" this week.  One from Delhi India.  They were searching for 'blogs by company chairman'.  You bet!  You found the right place!  Another was from Ahmedabad, Gujarat India (see?  this blog makes you more world-savvy!) that was searching for 'please, thank you, and sorry are magic words'.  Must have been a post on getting the MYP to behave.  

We are still learning to ski!  So far I've completely humiliated myself only once.  But there's always next time.  I partnered up with a ski bunny the other night.  It was great company.  

Even though she's been a bit naughty, at least Lisi isn't this naughty!
Well I better move along.  I don't want this to prove true...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wild and Free!

She left for just a little while.  So I thought I'd make the most of it.  

Hello!  This is your good friend Lisi!  I've been minding my manners lately.  I've been walking without a leash just fine.  I've even submitted to a stupid bath when the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway told me to head upstairs.  I thought it was time to run wild and free.

As soon as I saw the van disappear around the corner, I was trying to decide what to do.  Just then, my friend Sasha strolled by with her big person.  Sasha is a crazy chocolate lab that sniffs at me too much, but she's a friend so I put up with it.  Her big lady is really nice and usually carries a treat to share with me.  We played for awhile and then they were leaving and so I decided to go with them.  We have this thing that makes my collar beep and worse yet, buzzes me if I'm not staying home.  Well the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway hasn't put it on me for a very long time.  I'm smart and know there's no buzzing if there's no collar!  So off I went with them!  

We got done playing and then I decided to explore a bit.  I found a spot in the ditch where something had died.  It was black and slimy and had that weird-sweet smell.  So I rolled in it to take care of that rotten bath I had recently.  I sniffed awhile longer and then I heard it.  

A whistle.  A loud, frantic whistle that only comes from the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway.  Oh no!  I'm busted.  She's come home earlier than I expected.  

There she was, standing in the back yard looking my way.  I ran across two yards and a field and came home trying to look sad and guilty at the same time.  She got down on her knees quickly and gave me a squeeze.  Then all of the sudden she got up looking mad as mad could be.  I think she realized I had ran away from home.  And I think she got her coat sleeve messed up with my slimy dead smell on my shoulder.  She yells like she often does.  "LISI!  NAUGHTY!"  Of course I am.  Why do you need to tell me.  

She marches back to the garage.  I slowly follow her.  I try to win her over and give a look like this:

It didn't work.  So I tried a trick:

Finally she laughed.  And scruffed up my ears a bit.  Yes, the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway can come across as a mean ol' thing.  But deep down inside, I can win her over.  Time and time again.  

I think that awful red collar is going to be back around my neck when they leave for awhile.  Oh well.  Being wild and free is for the young.  I'm hitting middle age now.  I guess it was fun while it lasted...

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Musings

Ahhh.  Monday.  One of my favorite days of the week.  After Sunday.  So then it's all uphill from here.

We've been hit with the 'blick'.  Not the full-blown Influenza A or whatever they are calling it this year.  Yesterday as I cheerfully (with a little extra volume) was trying to rouse the ranks up in their bedrooms, son #1 looked at me with tears and said, 'I feel really bad'.  Fever.  Aches.  Headache.  Lost his previous nights meal.  And so the plans were changed drastically.  I literally was all dressed up and nowhere to go.  But go somewhere I did!

I decided close to noon I should run out and get the Sunday newspaper.  Bad choice on several levels.  Slippers on my feet.  Running.  And finally, a glare sheet of ice I wasn't expecting.  Lets just say I'm glad no one was around to see my utter display of out-of-control humility.  I did manage to get up and get the newspaper.  Today I'm harboring a sore shoulder and knee to show for the efforts to get the news.

I'd post a picture of our dear son suffering on the sofa, but he made me take an oath that I would never take a  picture of him sleeping again.  (sigh).  And... he went to school an hour ago.  Daughter #2 came down her usual time and promptly crawled into my lap and fell asleep like she was two again.  I loved it.  But figured she was maybe getting sick or already sick.  So after 20 minutes, I told her to go back to bed.  She came down two hours later with a ready smile saying that was great and she was ready for school.  Oops.  Didn't call that one accurately.

Shopping this time of year is fun.  I was looking at a throw for some time.  Today the very one was 75% off plus my extra 30% coupon.  Why they almost shook my hand and told me to head out the door with new cozy!  Good deal Lucille!

I would have Lisi tell the story about me giving her a bath a couple days ago, but it wouldn't be all that interesting.  Do you know why?  Because she acted flawlessly.  She slowly went up to the bathroom on her own, literally jumped in the tub and stood there looking at me like 'get it over with please'.  Then only shook off the wet when I told her to.  And that was that!  I told you she was sweetness and smarts all wrapped up in a golden package!

I overheard a late-20'something guy in Costco on the phone.  "yeah, she woke up really crabby".  Oh good grief.  Talk about your personal problems in the car or somewhere else.  I figured it was his g.f. or wife he was talking about.  Then he added with a big smile, 'she had cereal for the first time today and it went down pretty good!'  Oh!  That kind of crabby!  How sweet.

Mused out.  It isn't very amusing, but maybe next time...!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thursday thoughts

Not so many thoughts actually.  Well I could start with this.  

For those of you we have been fortunate enough to have cross our welcome mat, you would know this is a picture of the the landing upstairs.  Actually as I look at it, there also is a world-famous dog lying on her bed waiting for the magic words about a walk.  

Anyway, after we got home last night and the three MYP and I were sitting up there in the hallway, Simba decides to walk though the railings and tightrope it on the outside of the safety of guardrails.  One of the MYP says, 'that would be real bad if he slipped', and at that moment... he slipped!  And ka-BOOM!  Kitty fell 11 1/2 feet down to the first floor.  Whomp.  The Chairman comes running out of the office.  We rush down the stairs.  Kitty looks at us disdainfully and shakes one paw and stalks off in disgust.  He's no worse for the wear.  But it gave us a good scare.  And I must admit, I was adding up how much the emergency vet bill would be with a broken foot.  

Yesterday was the kind of day that you have great personal satisfaction, but no one really knows what you did all day.  I replaced the furnace filter.  Changed out the bulletin board of our dear friends pictures.  I wiped down cabinets.  Made cookies.  I swept and mopped the wood for the umpteenth time.  I hung a humongous picture (that is perfectly straight I might add!).  And then the usual laundry load and food cooked.  Such is the life of a stay-at-home-mom.

Thanks for all your words of support on my previous post.  I do think I'll wait out the six months and then go in again to see if things have changed.  It seems that at this point, the odds are for me.  The radiologist that spends his days looking at these pictures is in a very busy and well-rated hospital.  Usually, they take the highest precautions.  And if that's what he recommends, I'll stick with it.  But that's not to say that it crosses my mind every five minutes once in awhile.

Better get going with my day!  I saw this today.  I don't think they have me listed.  The type of person that keeps taking pictures of the cat or dog and posting them...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's a cluster...

That's what the radiologist said after looking at the ultrasound.  A cluster.  The only things I know that 'cluster' are grapes and a headache.  This was neither.  It was some cells.

Today I had my annual mammogram.  I get them yearly because of my family history and for the simple fact that if something could be detected as early as possible, it would be a good thing.  I made some mental notes while the first set of images were being taken.  I needed to make a stop here, and then there, and then that other place and hopefully get home before I'm too starving for lunch.

After the first ones were sent to the mysterious radiologist (kinda like the manager at a car dealership), mammogram lady came back.  We need to re-take one side.  We go through that process.  I thumb through a very old magazine feeling uneasy.  She returns in about 10 minutes.  We see something.  You will need to have an ultrasound done.  Can you stay?  Of course I can stay.  You are telling me something looks odd and ask if I want to leave?

So I wait once again in my fuzzy white robe.  It should be keeping me warm.  I'm feeling very clammy.  Well downright nervous if you must ask.  Finally they call me to ultrasound.  Two ladies are there.  One 'rookie' and her expert witness standing behind her.  They are looking intently on the screen.  They are marking little dark spots (as I crane my head to look).  This goes on for about 7 or 4 or 6 minutes.  I'm in full-blown panic now.  Finally I say, 'what are you looking at?'.  Oh, just some cysts for sure and maybe something else.  Finally they finish.  After waiting another five minutes, the experienced sonogram lady comes back and says they are having a problem getting the images to the aforementioned radiologist.  Would I mind if he came in to read them right on the screen?  Um.  No.  I have my fuzzy white bathrobe for protection.

He walks in.  He's tall and middle-aged and seems a bit shy.  I'm thinking he didn't excel in the outgoing department and so he likes his mysterious position there in the hospital where he reads stuff all the day long but doesn't have to make much eye contact.  He says murmuring things to the other lady.  They point and talk in hushed tones.  I'm waiting like a sitting duck for the verdict with wet palms and a knotted stomach.

Finally he turns around.  His first words were 'well it looks benign', then adds a "but".  There's a cluster.  A cluster of cells that turn into cancer in some cases.  We could biopsy real soon, but I don't think it is necessary.  What I would like though is for you to come back in six months.  We need another ultrasound done then to see if there is growth or if it has changed to cancer.  Are you comfortable with that?  Well Mr. Radiologist, are you?  Assuming he is since that was my first option, I nodded yes.

So I changed out of my fuzzy white robe and got my clothes on and responded to the Chairman's many messages that kept coming in wondering why I hadn't called to tell him good news right away.  I wish I could have.  But I couldn't.

However, I did what any sane person would do when faced with a medical situation.  I Googled it.  I found out that 20% of the cases turn to cancer.  Eighty-percent do not.  So again, like any sane person, I'm assuming I'm the 20%.  I'm reasonable like that.

So why am I telling you this?  I'm not sure.  I waver between wanting to be completely private, and wanting to share with you since I consider my audience to be friends.  Friends that share the ups and downs of life.  Today was a worrisome day.  But the odds are in my favor.  I'm thankful for early detection if that is the case.  I'm thankful for my health now more than ever.  I'm thankful the Chairman is such a rock and the voice of reason crying in the wilderness.  And I'm thankful for a mother that was boarding a plane and took the time to say to me, 'I know exactly how you feel'.  Because she does.  She's been there.  Twice.  And hers wasn't benign.

So there you have it.  My inward thoughts on post #889....

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday Musings

I'm ashamed to admit this.  I almost forgot to muse today.  Was I terrifically busy?  Not really?  Did I forget it was Monday?  No.  Do I care about blogging and readership?  Slightly.  I did have a nagging feeling that I was forgetting to do something today as I was folding my way through a huge pile of Downy softness.

I saw a quote about being the baby of the family that said something to the effect that your parents finally made the perfect child and stopped.  Well in my case I heard two versions of why I was the baby.  One was that I was so stubborn that my poor parents couldn't handle another.  Another version (compliments of my mostly nice older brother) was that my parents ran out of brain cells to pass on and it was obvious that the supply was low when I came.

That's what I owe to my bursting self-confidence today.  Being beat down to humility only to rise again.

I do enjoy my middle-age point in life.  I love talking to strangers in the stores.  I love talking to the check-out people.  I just learned a couple days ago this lady that is usually working was having a birthday (57 to be exact!).  She's got a sweet daughter that bought her frozen birthday cake with her last $20 and she was like her best friend.  I enjoyed all the news, but a discount would have been better.

I'm not "there" yet though.  I am certainly a work in progress.  I wasn't going to do a New Year's resolution, but I think there is one area that I fail at miserably.  Patience.  With my family.  With others.  With the guy on the road that won't move over to the slow lane.  Check in with me about July to see how I'm doing.  I hope I don't forget.

Have I mentioned I'm learning to ski?  I can't remember some things.  Alzheimer's setting in early.  Or not.  I'd show you pictures, but it is hard to hold an iPhone with ski gloves.  It is also hard to hold an iPhone while balancing on two slippery skis with poles in hand.  But I will tell you this!  I haven't fallen!  Yet.  Nor have I left the comforts of the bunny run.  I'll keep you posted of the first "yard sale" as they call it when you lose parts of your equipment as you roll down the hill.

Are you a stats person?  I kind of like them.  Such as the fact this is post #888.  Kinda cool, eh?  Or that 1,677 unique locations have come looking for something interesting.  Or that 71,569 people have hit up this site since its birth many years ago.

I have few hobbies, but I do love looking at blogs about people cooking food.  I found this wonderful recipe and tried it out.  Crazy-wild approval from the other four members of the house.  They were deliciousness.  I also made some oven potato pancakes another day that were a hit.  I won't mention the other choices that were given a 'nyaaah'.  I'm trying to break out of the same ol', same ol'.

Speaking of which.  The Chairman will be pulling in the driveway within a few minutes and I still have broccoli to steam and some fruit to cut.  He would hardly understand why I'm 'musing' since he isn't a faithful reader.  Oh well... I must be so riveting in person that the words pale in comparison.  Or not.  Really not.

Sorry for no pictures.  Simba is looking ridiculously cute on Lisi's bed right now.  He goes over and pretends to want to play.  As soon as the dear pooch gets up for some good romping, kitty quickly lies down on the warm bed.  So who is smarter, a cat or a dog???

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Musings on Wednesday

It's Monday right?  I feel like we just lived through the weekend that never stopped.  Finally it is Monday!  Or not.

The MYP were actually itching to be back to their routine.  That's what they said last night anyway.  But when taps blew at 6:45 this morning, they weren't so eager.

I'm beginning the new year with fun things like washers full of dirty laundry and disputing charges on credit card statements.  Fun stuff, eh?

We used to have a magnet on the fridge that said, 'may our house be warm and our friends many...'.  Well such was the case.  The wood stove kept us blasted hot nice and toasty.  The welcome mat ushered in close to 60 people over the past two weeks.  It was very exhausting wonderful in every way.  

We had some over for New Years Eve.  It was really nice.  The only problem with the people we all invited?  They like to talk!  The adults ended up not playing any games at all!  Just visit, visit, visit for hours on end (while sweating near the wood stove).  After the night was nearly over I realized something actually quite profound.  No one brought anything sweet for dessert!  I hadn't made anything since I assumed there would be at least two pans of bars/brownies.  But nothing!  And what made it even more interesting?  The kids didn't even notice.

This is a 10:03 am view during winter break.

The Chairman and I headed off for the woods yesterday.  It was beautiful!  I'm starting to really like winter!  Sorta. 
 We have started a membership at the local ski hill.  Son #1 is an avid anything sports related snowboarder and is making full use of the hill.  We have begun our first lessons.  The bunny hill is still the nicest place to be.  The Chairman is loving it.  I'm kinda liking it.  And we are eating a bit of humble pie up on the slope as you see these teensy-weensy little 6-year old skiers racing past us like we are in the way.

There was even a bit of swimming involved during winter break!
So that's probably enough Monday Musing for today.  On a Wednesday.  I'm confused...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

There still is one more...

The time was early 2001.  We were settled in with two little ones.  One was soon turning two.  One was almost one.  I knew I should be content.  I knew I was blessed.  I knew life had brought incredible joy in these two young lives.  But often I kept hearing in my mind and feeling in my heart, 'there still is one more'.  There still is a little one in China that needs to come home to her forever family.  That went on for months in my mind.  The Chairman and I talked it over.  We wanted to be sure that it was right for that little one as well as for us.

Then a call came one morning.  It was a good friend of ours.  Completely catching me off guard she asked, 'would you write a reference letter?'.  Of course I would.  They were a wonderful family.  Had three nice little boys.  Our family had known their family for years.  What is the reference letter for?  China?  Really?  Wow!  She said that she watched us go through the process.  She had seen the work involved, the anguish involved, the uncertainty involved.  In fact, the first time we got together once R came home she thought, 'I could never do that'.  But they were moved to do it.

After I hung up the phone, I was just so happy.  So happy for them.  So happy for them I was almost envious.  They were going to go to China before we would get to return.  And then it hit me in such a way it was almost audible.  That 'one more still there' was going to live with them.  It was bittersweet.

Some months later, we found out there was a baby possibly coming.  After multiple losses we didn't really know for sure.  But she made it.  And yes, 'there was still one more', but it wasn't how we had planned.

Beautiful China girl returned home nestled in her parents arms.  I looked at her longingly with a full-term baby in my womb.  Our experience in bringing home a daughter from China was so incredibly rich that I wished for that again. But that wasn't in the greater plan.

I love these girls.  Theirs and ours.  Ironically, these two girls are now in the very same classroom at school.  Friends.  And almost sisters.  Yes, life is miraculous and wonderful.

See that other beauty?  She is from ND and her family spent the night with us.  We visited and encouraged her parents as they went through the adoption journey.  She's just sweetness.

And see these?  Here they all are!  The older girls?  They were our inspiration.  Their parents helped us more than they know as we muddled through the paperwork to make things happen.  Yes,  I'm thankful that we don't have to fear the future.  Love has planned the way.  And sometimes, it isn't how we planned it.